This Week at Bethel MOM’s: Zumba

This week we will have a fantastic Zumba Instructor here to show us some moves. Make sure to wear your comfy pants, bring your water bottle and be prepared to laugh at one another.

Couple of Things:

Ann is partaking in a courageous journey this month. She is walking 550 km to honour Indian Residential School (IRS) survivors. She will walk from Stoney Knoll, Sask. to Edmonton, Alta. March 7-26, and could really use our help, as well as our thoughts and prayers. You can read more about the Honour Walk here and here.

It was proposed that meals be made for Ann’s Family, then Ann can focus on her journey and Steve and the kids are looked after. If you can provide a meal for Ann’s Family or have gear you think Ann can use on her walk contact

Secondly Volunteers are needed July 3-5 for Mennonite Church Canada 2014 Assembly, Wild Hope: Faith for an Unknown Season.

You will just be a body for ratio with little responsibility. You will also get a reduced registration for you own kids, but do it soon because Childcare Registration closes May 15th.  Talk to or Email Heidi for more information.

Lastly, we are always looking for people to sit on the committee or if you know of someone who can volunteer as a caregiver talk to one of us.



This Week’s Wrap-Up: Home Learning *Updated*

This week we had the lovely Sandy and Leanne in to talk about their philosophies on home learning.

As parents we need to cultivate a desire for life long learning.

First off you need to encourage a sense of wonder. Instead of berating them with facts allow their minds to explore their imaginations.
“Mommy why is the moon that shape?”
“I wonder that too! What do you think?”
“I think Cookie Monster took a bite out of it.”

Secondly, slow down (easier said than done some times) and let them build their sense of capability. Allow them to pout their own water, dump ingredients in to a bowl, mix the ingredients, put their own boots on etc.

And lastly comment on the effort not the results.
“Wow, you tried really hard drawing that bike.” vs. “Wow, it’s perfect!”

Tot's and learningThe sheet inserted was passed around at the meeting, it’s just things pulled from Sandy’s brain on learning with Tot’s at home.

Some ideas for home learning:

Charlotte Mason is a great resource.  Here is the link to the early years living books.

Create spaces for learning.

  • Musical basket
  • Art Cabinet
  • Playdough centre
  • The Value Series

Some great internet resources:

Media Resources for home learning;*
Winnipeg Public Library
Magic School Bus DVDs
Signing Time DVDs – great sign language teaching with song
Books on CD
Mighty Machines DVDs
The White Stone in the Castle Wall – can be found in the WPL system
Don’t Leave Childhood Without… – sadly this one is not available in the WPL system.
Honey for a Child’s Heart – also not available in the WPL system

All in all make learning fun. Volunteer in the school when you can . Google Greatest Literature for Age x – x

Session Wrap-Up: 101 Free Dates

We had a lovely conversation today that when really off topic but here are a few date ideas

  • Go Skating. At the Forks, on the River Trail, City Parks, Local Community Club
  • Tobogganing
  • Catch a Folklorama Show
  • Have a night in. Wine, candles, late supper with the kids to bed early, movies, games (open for interpretation), Netflix, reading books, whatever tickles your fancy.
  • Catch a Movie
  • Go Mini Golfing
  • Tour the city
    • Check out the snow sculpture
    • Bears from Broadway
    • The Wolves
    • Take a guided tour
  • Take a drive into the country
  • Go for a walk
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Day at the Beach
  • Take a class together. Your School division offers free or cheap courses
  • Go Yard Saleing
  • Check out a bookstore – Chapters is awesome. Coffee, kids table, PlasmaCars, oh and books
  • Go for Coffee/warm beverages
  • Volunteer together
  • Go snow shoeing/cross-country skiing
  • Build a snowman
  • Go on a sleigh/carriage ride
  • Bonfire and s’mores
  • Toonie Tuesday at Wheelies between 6:30 and 8:30
  • Star gazing and hot chocolate
  • Have a picnic
  • Go pick fruit
  • Pretend to be potential buyers and check out open houses because we totally want to see inside our neighbours houses
  • Go to the Ex the concerts are free with gate admission
  • Watch the Goldeyes you can get $5 seats
  • Sit on the hill outside IGAC or the steps to Con Ed and listen to a concert at the stadium
  • Ikea scavenger hunt – free childcare if little one is potty trained, meatball Mondays, $1 breakfast, really any excuse to check out Ikea
  • Watch TED talks
  • Read articles and discuss
  • Brunch dates
  • Get a sitter and go run errands
  • Fort Whyte – Enter through the back gates and walk through the marches
  • The Conservatory – a tropical oasis in the dead of winter, a sauna anytime else
  • Murder Mystery supper

Really the most mundane, cheesy things in life can be turned into a date as long as your together and having fun. You can check out some great dates with your kids here.

I’m also just going to be lazy and use Pinterest as my bibliography because it’s 11, I’m sleepy, the LO is making noises, and there is Olympics to watch.

Have Fun


Some Recipes

Curried Lentils (from More with Less cookbook)

Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 min:

1 cup lentils
2.5 cups water
1 bouillon cube
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. salt

Sauté together:

2 Tbsp. butter (or oil)
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1-2 Tbsp. curry powder

Add to lentils with:

2 Tbsp. lemon juice
chopped parsley

Serve with rice, cooked peas and naan bread.

Cereal Squares ( Adaptation of my Mother’s Rice Krispie Squares)

  • 40 Large Marshmallows (the OCD in my loves this) or a regular bag of mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 C margarine
  • a glug or capful (or 2) Vanilla
  • 6 C of your choice of cereal
    • 3 C Chex and 3 C Cheerios
    • For Rice Krispie Treat use 6 C Rice Krispies
  • 1/2 C (or a couple handfuls) of Craisens

On stove Top:
Melt margarine on med heat in a big pot, add marshmallows, and stir till marshmallows are melted and smooth.


In The In Microwave:
Toss marshmallows and margarine into a large glass bowl. Nuke in 1 min increments, stirring in between until marshmallows are melted and smooth.

Note: Your kids will love to watch this part because the marshmallows get big and puffy in the microwave.

Add in vanilla, stir, dump in cereal and mix until everything is coated. Spread out in a 9×13 pan. If you want them a little thinner (I.e. to use cookie cutters) place wax paper on large flat surface and then spread out.

Some Fabulous Freezer Meals

My Mother in Law stayed with us a week and I put her to work making food. We both scoured the internet for recipes and came up with a game plan.
We made (mostly her):

  1. Tacosanga which is just fun to say.
  2. Pizza Pasta Bake
  3. Perogie Casserole
    I more or less double everything in the recipe except the can of soup, and use whatever meat and veggies I have in my freezer. Also my husband has banned mushrooms in the house so cream of broccoli and cheddar soup is nice, Cream of broccoli/celery/chicken also work.
  4. Chicken Pot Pie with this bisquick dough topping
  5. Sheppard’s Pie
  6. Lasagna
  7. The Best Ever Meatloaf
  8. Sweet and Sour Meat
    Meat of choice, gallon Ziploc, 1 can of tomato soup, 1/2 C brown sugar, 1/4 C vinegar, 4 Tbls soya sauce. Mix and freeze, add pineapple  (optional) when you go to cook it.
  9. Crockpot “Refried” beans This I’ve frozen and defrost anytime I want to make quesadillas, tacos, bean dip.

I also want to share a couple of links to a couple of blogs because they have some tasty and practical meals, nothing fancy, nothing you wouldn’t already eat.

  1. Fun with Sharps! Bulk cooking
  2. Femiology Make Ahead and Freeze Casseroles

This Week at Bethel MOM’s: 101 Free Dates

Valentine’s Day is this week. Ugh right? We’ve only been bombarded by red and pink hearts since Christmas so you’d think you’d remember. Nope!

So in the spirit of love and relationships we are group sourcing for your favourite dates that are Free or on the Cheap, with or with out your kids it’s up to you.

To get the gears turning here is an idea.

Torch Light Walk

Presented by: Manitoba Hydro

February 14 6 p.m. Where the Assiniboine and Red River meet

Join the cheerful crowd as they walk from The Forks to Voyageur Park for an exceptional stroll lighted by hundreds of candles and torch lights. (Sounds romantic)

The first 100 people at the starting point of the walk will receive a free day pass to Voyageur Park.

~ Danielle ~

Session Wrap-Up: Pamela Whyte and Todays Coffee Talk

frustration traffic circleI will be upfront, there is no way I can do anything she said justice. So while Little’s 1 and 2 are napping I Goggled (funny how that is now a verb). Oh I Googled, and Googled and Googled some more, and this is what I came up with.

There is a blog called The Dream to Write, Julianne Harvey is the blog’s owner and she’s taken some of Dr. Gordon Neufeld’s parenting courses, she’s described the Traffic Circle of Frustration in this blog post beautifully, she also touches on it here.

Here is Dr. Neufeld’s webpage. From there you can peruse the site to read up on the offered  course material, read about his philosophy,  get his book Hold on to Your Kids which by the way was rereleased last year with a new chapter dealing with children in the digital world.

I realized I haven’t talked about Pamela and she’s in the title oops. She is a lovely women who has 3 children of her own, and counsels parents on parenting and teaches/talks about all things Neufeld. She has been working with Dr. Neufeld for the past 20 years so she clearly knows her stuff.

You can check out her webpage here where you can reread the course information, read her blog or contact her if your interested in counseling.

Today we continued the discussion on parenting, and talked about how different things are now than when our parents raised us. We as a society  have put so much pressure on parenting (I’m certain social media is to blame) and parenting perfectly (No wonder we all have anxiety issues and seek therapy). We spend way more time with our children than our parents ever did (there where times of the year I didn’t see my Dad, but he’s a farmer. It’s justified) and yet we feel we don’t spend enough. We think a lot about parenting, I mean A LOT! And there is a self help book for everything even though half of them are just an average Joe’s opinion.

Here are the names of books that floated around the room today .

Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue by Edwin H. Friedman

Lightweb Darkweb: Three Reasons to Reform Social Media Be4 It Reforms Us by Raffi Cavoukian

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown